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RE: Memory card checksum errors (was: 2000 November Election)

From: owner-support@gesn.com [mailto:owner-support@gesn.com]On Behalf Of Guy Lancaster
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2001 1:41 PM

Now to Lana's questions.  The above should answer everything other than why erroneous data managed to upload.  I see two possible explanations.  One is that the data was corrupted after the checksums were validated.  In this case the errors would show the next time the checksums were checked.  The other possibility is the [60k to 1] chance that the erroneous data managed to add up to the correct checksum.   

My understanding is that the card was not corrupt after (or before) upload.  They fixed the problem by clearing the precinct and re-uploading the same card.  So neither of these explainations washes.   That's not to say I have any idea what actually happened, its just not either of those.

So John, can you satisfy Lana's request from this?  I can't without more details.

The problem is its going to be very hard to collect enough data to really know what happened.  The card isn't corrupt so we can't post-mortem it (its not mort).  Guy if you can get the exact counter numbers that were uploaded into the races (not just president) perhaps you could guess the nature of the corruption at least, but if I had to bet the numbers were just garbage and you won't be able to tell.

About the only constructive suggestion I have is to insert a line in the AV upload code to check that candvotes + undervotes = votefor*timescounted.  If it happens, punt.  That would have at least prevented the embarrassment of negative votes, which is really what this is all about.  Then John can go to Lana and tell her it has never happened before and that it will never happen again.